Immigration Policy Is Discussed On The National Stage
The case is not about the controversial SB 1070, which requires law enforcement officers to determine a person’s immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion the person might be in the country illegally. Instead, it’s about a law known as the “business death penalty” that cracks down on businesses that employ illegal immigrants.
The law enforces strict penalties for employers who hire undocumented citizens. One violation is a suspension of the employer’s business license, two violations and the license is permanently revoked.
Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union have challenged the law, arguing that it is stricter than federal law and that, because Arizona does not have a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy, it could make employers hesitant to hire minorities.
Immigration has long been a contentious issue, but it’s become even more controversial lately with the passage of SB 1070 and the subsequent protests. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s statements that most illegal immigrants are smuggling drugs haven’t helped either.
The case against the employment law will offer a glimpse into how the Supreme Court might decide if suits against SB1070 ever reach the high court. (The debate about whether or not SB1070 is constitutional is ongoing.) It will also offer some clarity as to how state immigration laws should be structured and might even trigger movement on federal immigration law, if we’re lucky.
The Court will begin hearing the case in October, and a decision is expected by January.